House of the Vettii gets its name from the name written on two bronze
seals that were discovered by archaeologists in the atrium during its
excavation in 1894- 95. These seals belonged to freedmen brothers Aulus
Vettius Conviva and Aulus Vettius Restitutus. It was fairly common
practice for Roman residents to become slaves, just like it was common
for these slaves to buy back their freedom. These two brothers
apparently were gifted and smart enough to buy their way out of bondage.
House of the Vettii was seriously damaged during an
earthquake of 62 years, but was soon rebuilt. The walls were covered
with frescoes in the fourth style. The hallway is decorated with a
fresco of Priapus, and it leads to a traditional atrium. The two
wings of the atrium are decorated with medallions with the head of
Medusa and Silenus on the right wall. And on the left wall is a
fresco of fighting roosters.
House of the Vettii was built
from several private houses, which were combined into a single
whole. So the house of the Vettievs has a second atrium in its
northern part. Here is the Lararium (home shrine). Peristal garden
perfectly preserved. Archaeologists have found the remains of the
roots of trees and bushes and they restored the general view of the
garden as it looked in 79 year AD. Therefore, the plants in the
garden are planted in the same way that plants once grew here. From
peristal it was possible to get into triclinium, that is, the office
of the owner. The walls were covered with bright frescoes, which are
perfectly preserved. They depict paintings with a mythological
theme. Here are the punishments of Dirka and little Hercules, who
chokes two snakes sent by the gods and many others. There are also
several images of people behind their usual activities. Here are
depicted workers for the collection of grapes, weaving,
metalworking, scenes of commerce, chariot races and others.
The frescoes in the House of the Vettii are one of
the greatest examples of Roman art of the first century.
December 2016, after 12 years of renovation, House of the Vettii was
finally open to the public.